Hockey Stretching Routine
A hockey stretching routine, as part of hockey training, ensures optimum strength, enhanced resistance to injuries and improved flexibility.
by Brad Walker | First Published October 31, 2010 | Updated August 31, 2017
Whether field hockey or ice hockey, incorporating a regular stretching routine into your hockey training will help players perform at higher levels of intensity without getting fatigued for longer periods. Off-ice hockey training also improves overall performance on the ice, while enhancing players’ fitness levels.
Muscles used in Hockey
Like other sports, hockey also has different effects on different parts of the body. The most important muscles during a game are the core muscles. Core muscles include the rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus, which are the abdominal muscles, and both internal and external oblique muscles.
The strength and flexibility of the lower body is also very important. Hockey requires the players to bend over the hockey stick while playing, making it essential to have strong hamstrings, hips and lower back muscles. To condition these muscles well, your hockey training must include a hockey stretching routine.
The Benefits of a Hockey Stretching Routine
Special attention should be devoted to a good hockey stretching routine before and after every game and practice session. Here are some benefits of a good stretching program:
- It increases your range of motion when you are training both on and off ice. You tend to gain swiftness, agility and puck handling skills.
- Your skating speed is likely to improve, as stretching increases flexibility of the hips, groin, quads and hamstrings.
- Goalkeepers become able to extend further by stretching. This enables then to move quickly and efficiently around the crease and make tough saves.
- A regular hockey stretching routine can help prevent injuries like:
º Rotator cuff tendinitis, a condition that causes acute irritation in the shoulder tendons and muscles.
º Knee tendinitis, a condition that causes irritation in the knee tendons and muscles.
º Musculotendinous overuse injuries, generally of the lower leg and knees.
- Finally, even the most basic hockey stretching routine can just make you feel better. Glossing over it in your regular hockey training, however, could cost you dearly.
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately. Review my article on the rules for safe stretching for more information.
Watch the Hockey Stretching Routine
Click on the play button below to watch the 10 minute hockey stretching routine video.
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About the Author: Brad is often referred to as the "Stretch Coach" and has even been called the Stretching Guru. Magazines such as Runners World, Bicycling, Triathlete, Swimming & Fitness, and Triathlon Sports have all featured his work. Amazon has listed his books on five Best-Seller lists. Google cites over 100,000 references to him and his work on the internet. And satisfied customers from 122 countries have sent 100's of testimonials. If you want to know about stretching, flexibility or sports injury management, Brad Walker is the go-to-guy.